The latest edition of the Sunderland weekly round-up takes a look at the latest news from Stadium of Light. A humiliating defeat at Bolton on Saturday was the final straw for owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus as he sacked Lee Johnson just one day before the transfer deadline. The news will now put any potential new arrivals in serious doubt.
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Lee Johnson Sacked
A Disastrous Saturday for Sunderland at Bolton
On Saturday, Sunderland produced a performance not seen for some time by fans. Defeats happen in football; however, it is the manor of the defeat which hurt fans. At Bolton, Lee Johnson’s team were second best in every department as Wanderers outfought and outplayed their visitors from the first kick to the last.
Lee Johnson switched to a back four from the three central defenders he normally favours. The switch failed and Bolton took full advantage. With Sunderland two down at halftime, fans expected changes. However, they didn’t materialise and the home side continued to run riot and were worthy 6-0 winners.
It was a shambolic performance and one that saw owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus pull the trigger on Lee Johnson’s time at Sunderland.
Apologies From Both Lee Johnson and Captain Corry Evans
Following the result manager Lee Johnson was quick to offer his apologies to those fans that will have undoubtedly been devastated by what they witnessed. He said: “I’ve got to start with an apology and it is a sincere one, because it’s the worst feeling I’ve had in football, in 20-odd years as a player and as a manager.
“We will have to call out some truths. It’s a big shock to me this performance, I genuinely did not see it coming. I think the players were genuinely embarrassed. I went through a range of emotions, to be honest. I’m hurting on a personal level.”
Captain Corry Evans also commented on the afternoon, apologised and hoped to put it right. He told reporters: “I’d just like to apologise firstly to the fans for them travelling in their numbers today. We let them down and feel really bad for them. We need to put it right next week.
“To lose in the manner that we did, 6-0, is just unacceptable. There are a lot of things to look back on and learn from as a team and as a group but we believe in the way we play and the way to try and be successful going forward.”
Lee Johnson Sacked Following Latest Calamitous Defeat
On Sunday evening, the news broke that Lee Johnson had been sacked. His departure comes after the humiliating 6-0 defeat at Bolton. Despite Sunderland sitting third in the table, those above have games in hand and Johnson has overseen several poor performances and results that have had fans scratching their heads at not only the players’ abilities but the tactics, team selection, formation and inability to change things mid-game as well.
Following Johnson’s departure, the club and owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said: “I would like to thank Lee for his commitment and endeavour over the past 14 months. We regret that we have had to take this decision, but felt immediate change was needed. We firmly believe that this is in the best interests of Sunderland AFC as we strive to earn promotion this season. Lee and Jamie will always be welcome at the Stadium of Light and they depart with our best wishes.”
Latest Black Cats Transfer News: Deals in Serious Doubt Following Sacking
Sunderland were reportedly still working hard on bringing in one or two more signings before the transfer deadline. However, now that the Black Cats are manager-less, any deals close to being agreed must now be in serious doubt.
Former striker and fan-favourite Jermain Defoe has been heavily linked with a return to the club. Northampton Town fullback Ali Koiki has also been reportedly targeted by the Black Cats according to the Sunderland Echo. Sunderland and whoever the new manager is, may have to make do with the current squad, though, now that they don’t have a manager to spearhead these pursuits.
Jack Clarke Signs From Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham winger Jack Clarke arrived earlier this past week on loan for the rest of the season. The former Leeds United wonderkid has struggled to make an impression since his big-money move to North London and will be hoping that this move can reignite his career.
Denver Hume and Josh Hawkes Depart
Fullback Denver Hume departed Wearside and joined League One rivals Portsmouth this week. The fee is believed to be £200,000 with a sell-on clause also inserted. Hume had been at Sunderland for 13 years and rose through the academy ranks before starring for the first team.
Another departure was midfielder Josh Hawkes. The 23-year-old signed from Hartlepool United 18 months ago enjoyed an excellent first season in Sunderland’s U23 squad. However, first-team opportunities were hard to come by and the decision was made to allow him to move to Tranmere Rovers on a permanent deal.